350 Home and Garden Challenge Year 2! and Oasis Community Farm is one year old and celebrating…

We’re great fans of Bill McKibben and his 350.org. The guy is a great popularizer of the FACT that we’ve long since passed the 350 part per million level of pollution in our air – we’re poisoning ourselves – and we’ve got to get back to that garden. Nobody we know of can afford to live in a world that is crashing up against itself with more tsunamis and floods, droughts and new cases of asthma than any human could shake a stick at.

We’ve messed up our world big time and its time for retribution, says Mom Nature. So we’re attempting to sooth her with our efforts at house cleaning. Rebuilding the soil even.

Here in Sonoma County, we’re doing a bang up job. With the collaboration of Daily Acts, Transition USA, iGrowSonoma County, Petaluma Bounty and others, we’re living our talk; we’re growing huge amounts of local, luscious food stuffs and learning (with Daily Acts of courage like making pesto from nettles!) how to preserve nature’s bounty in order to share it.
Last year’s 350 Garden Challenge broke its goal and created 629 gardens and water-saving projects!

So – TODAY we build owl boxes and put up a clothesline in honor of 350 Home and Garden Challenge, remembering last year when we gathered 50 people to build an adobe oven and benches, called Lovin’ Oven by our friend Micah Elliot (MudStrawCity), our globe-trotting advocate for mud housing. See the Lovin’ Oven being built at

A tad gray outside now, but sun will break through as will the thousands of wildflower and lettuce seeds scattered this week. Right now we have, among other items, celery, garlic, cilantro, aloe vera, Swiss chard, brussels sprouts, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, black, fava and string beans, Pariesienne carrots (from Baker Creek Seed Bank), and who knows what else! Most not in quantities we can share yet, but wait a bit and there will be plenty for boxes for other homes. Eggs? We usually have a spare few dozen big eggs with orange yolks. Rich they are.

I feel rich and poor all at the same time. Rich in possibilities for our land, our friendships in the community, rich in hope that we are part of a solution to the heaving awful problems of the world, but poor because I know we won’t be shipping food or water to Ethiopia or Uganda or Cambodia. Super rich Angelina Jolie was able to buy miles of land to help the neighbors of the child she and Brad adopted in Cambodia so that elephants can live peacefully nearby. Here? At least Petaluma Bounty will be able to glean fruits and veggies as we progress so some local people will get wholesale foods and we can give to the Kitchen and Redwood Food Bank. Lots of ways to share what nature and sweat equity provide.

There are no easy solutions, I know. But we can do something. So today its owl boxes, clothesline, some planting – and lots of pizza cooked at 650 degrees in the Lovin’ Oven:

This time last year we had just named our small farm Oasis Community Farm and begun the process of figuring out what we mean by community and what is to be. Chickens and eggs; great. 14 laying Rhode Island Reds get out to eat bugs many hours each day and tell us all about their happy lives. Quite sociable. New baby chicks in the barn.

Sweet.